Saturday, October 21, 2017

The first principle derives from the spirit not the body

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles the first of which is the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This inherent worth and dignity springs from their spirit not their body. Bodies come in many shapes, colors, sizes, and abilities. Identification with and defense of the body leads to many spiritual problems such as racism, homophobia, discrimination against people with disabilities and other physical characteristics.

Did you ever notice that people who focus on the body to the exclusion of the spirit wind up becoming disillusioned and miserable? Have you ever noticed the fleeting pleasure that the body provides only to become satiated and then anxious again for another fix for whatever it is craving? Does it seem that nothing is ever good enough and there is a greedy belief that more and more is better? Have you noticed that this chasing after bodily pleasures deprives us from any lasting peace?

There is something perverse and sad about the preoccupation and obsessions and compulsions that drive our physical attempts to soothe our troubled cravings. We have misplaced our focus on the expected source of our desired peace and joy on the body instead of the mind.

It is written in A Course In Miracles:

"The body can bring you neither peace nor turmoil; neither joy nor pain. 5 It is a means, and not an end. 6 It has no purpose of itself, but only what is given to it. 7 The body will seem to be whatever is the means for reaching the goal that you assign to it. 8 Only the mind can set a purpose, and only the mind can see the means for its accomplishment, and justify its use. " T-18.B.i.10:4-10

The tendency to objectify the body and submit to lust rather than take interest in and appreciate the spirit is a mistake. This mistake, while momentarily can give us pleasure, robs us of longer term joy and well being. The mature person who has achieved a degree of wisdom knows this.

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